John Allen Chau had been a missionary since 2017 and he had been training to interact with the Sentinelese tribe since college.
According to the Kansas-based Christian missionary group All Nations, Chau was a “seasoned traveller who was well-versed in cross-cultural issues.”
He “had previously taken part in missions projects in Iraq, Kurdistan and South Africa” after joining the organisation in 2017 and training in its North American headquarters at Kansas City.
“He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University (ORU) who had studied, planned and trained rigorously since college to share the gospel with the North Sentinelese people,” a statement posted on its website said.
Chau came to Port Blair on November 16 and he got killed the next day at North Sentinel Island while trying to get in touch with the Sentinelese tribe.
According to people who knew him closely, Chau was obsessed with finding out more about the tribe.
Mary Ho, All Mission’s international executive leader told the Washington Post that Chau had a “radical call” to find “unreached groups.”
“You could see that every decision he has made, every step he has taken since then was driven by his desire to be among the North Sentinelese people,” Ho said.
He reportedly planned to live there for years and wanted to learn their language.